Veg Pulao Recipe (Pulav) | How to Make Pulao | Easy to make

Share This Recipe

Pulao or Pulav or pilaf, is comfort food at its best and I make it when I  want to cook something quick, easy, and satisfying. This one-pot dish made with fragrant rice and colorful healthy vegetables has added spices and herbs, giving it a mild fragrant flavor. This special veg pulao recipe is in my mom’s and my go-to recipe when making vegetable pulao. The dish is also vegetarian and is great on its own or paired and raita (an Indian yogurt dish), pickle, and roasted Papad (a crisp thin Indian snack)

About Vegetable Pulao

Vegetable pulao is a delightful Indian rice dish that showcases the harmony of aromatic spices and vibrant vegetables. This one-pot meal offers a burst of flavors and textures that make it a favorite among both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

To prepare vegetable pulao, fragrant basmati rice is cooked with a medley of vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and beans, which add color, nutrition, and a delightful crunch. The rice is infused with a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric, along with the warmth of ginger, garlic, and green chilies. These spices lend a tantalizing aroma and a subtle kick to the dish.

The result is a beautiful amalgamation of tender rice grains and perfectly cooked vegetables, each infused with the essence of the spices. Vegetable pulao can be enjoyed on its own as a comforting meal or served as an accompaniment to curries and yogurt-based raita. It is a versatile dish that can be customized with additional ingredients like nuts, raisins, or even paneer for added richness and texture.

Whether preparing for a festive occasion or a simple weekday meal, vegetable pulao never fails to please with its enticing flavors and visual appeal.

We can eat vegetable pulao with sambar, kale chane, matar paneer, dal makhani, or shahi paneer. I like this dish as it is simple and easy to cook. If suddenly guests came, pulao can be made instantly.

 

 How to make Veg Pulao Recipe

Preparation

1. Begin by rinsing 1.5 cups of basmati rice in water until it runs clear of starch. Next, soak the rice in enough water for 20-30 mons.

2. After 20 to 30 mins strain the rice of all the water and keep aside.

3. While the rice is soaking, prep the veggies. Rinse and chop them. Make sure to chop the vegetables into small cubes.

    Peel, rinse, and slice 1 large onion thinly. You will need about 2.5 to 3 cups of chopped vegetables excluding corn, tomatoes, and onions.

4. Keep all the whole spices aside. From the below list of spices, you can skip black peppercorns,  black cardamom, star anise, and mace.

5. Add roughly chopped ginger (1 to 1.5 inches), garlic (4 to 5 small to medium garlic cloves, peeled), and 1 to 2 green chilies ( green peppers) in a mortar pestle.

6. Crush to a paste. You can also use a small grinder for crushing these. Add a bit of water if required while grinding in a small grinder or mixer.

Make Vegetable Pulao

7. Heat 3 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a deep thick-bottomed pot or pan.

8. Once the ghee has melted and become hot, add all the whole spices listed below.

                1 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera)

                5 to 6 black peppercorns- optional                                

                1 tej patta ( Indian bay leaf)

                4 Cloves  

                3 to 4 green cardamoms

                1 black caradamom – optional

                1 small piece of mace – optional

                1 small star anise – optional

                1-inch cinnamon 

                1 small piece of stone flower ( data phool or patthar ke phool ) – optional

Fry for a few seconds until they become fragrant. The spices will also splutter while frying. The ghee should not smoke or become too hot.

9. Add 1 cup of thinly sliced onions.

10. Mix the onions with the ghee and begin and ghee to saute them.

11. Saute the onions on low to medium-low- heat. First, the onions will become light golden. Stirring often continues to saute.

12. Saute onions until golden

13. Once the onions become golden add the crushed ginger + garlic + green chili ( Chili pepper) paste.

14. Stir and saute for some seconds until the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away.

15. Add 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes.

16. Mix and saute for 2-3 mins on low heat.

17. Now add all the chopped veggies you can add about 2.5 to 3 cups of mixed chopped vegetables. Also, add 1/2 cup of American corn ( frozen)

19. Mix and saute again for 2 to 3 mins on a low heat 

20. Add 1 cup curd. Mix it well.

21. Pour 3.5 to 4 cups water into the pan. I added 3.5 cups of water. Depending on the quality of rice you have used, you can add less or more water. You can opt to replace water with vegetable stock.

22.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.

23. Season with salt. Mix very well. To figure out if you have added the right amount of salt, check the taste of the water. You should feel some saltiness in the water.

     This means the amount of salt added is right. If the water does not feel salty, then you need to add some more salt.

24. Add the soaked rice.

 

25. Mix rice gently with the rest of the ingredients.

26. Saute rice gently for 1 to 2 mins on a low medium -low-heat, so that the rice grains get evenly coated with the oil and ghee

27. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves( cilantro). At this step, you can also add 2 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves.

28. Mix and saute again for 2 to 3 mins on low heat.

Cook Pulao 

29. Stir and tightly cover the pot or pan with its lid.

30. Cover and cook the rice until all the water they absorbed. Cook on a low to medium heat. Usually, in the beginning, I cook on medium-low or medium heat, and then halfway through, I lower the heat.

       Check a few times during cooking to ensure there is enough water. Depending on the quality of the rice, you may need to add more water. With a fork, you can also gently stir the rice without breaking the rice grains.

31. Put 1 tsp ghee. Add 10-12 almonds,10-12 raisins, 10-12 cashew, 200 gms homemade cheese, and green sprinkles. You should take fresh green sprinkles as it will give great taste and good texture.

 

32. Once the rice grains are cooked, fluff them and let the rice stand for 5 mins covered with the lid.

33. Serve Veg Pulao garnished with coriander leaves(cilantro), mint leaves, or fried onions, and fried cashew, fried almond, fried raisins, or fried cheese.   

.

Serving Suggestions

I recommend serving vegetable pulao with the following sides:

Raita ( an indian yogurt dish): Different variations I recommend include onion tomato raita, boondi raita, or cucumber raita.

Curry or Korma: Choose any spicy or lightly spiced vegetable curry or korma.

With Pickle and Papad: If you do not have time or ingredients to make korma or raita, then just serve or fried papad (an indian flatbread)

Plain Curd (Yogurt)

Some sliced onions and lime or lemons

A simple kadhi (a dish of thick chickpea flour gravy with vegetable fritters)

Expert Tips For Veg Pulao

 

  1. Rice selection: Choose long-grain basmati rice for the pulao as it provides a fluffy texture and wonderful aroma.
  2. Washing rice: Rinse the rice thoroughly under running water until the water runs clear. This step removes excess starch and prevents the pulao from turning sticky.
  3. Soaking rice: Soak the rinsed rice in water for about 30 minutes before cooking. This step ensures even cooking and helps the rice grains to remain separate.
  4. Sautéing spices: Heat ghee or oil in a pan and sauté whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and bay leaves until they release their aroma. This process enhances the flavors of the pulao.
  5. Flavorful vegetables: Select a variety of colorful vegetables like carrots, peas, bell peppers, beans, and cauliflower to add to the pulao. Cut them into evenly sized pieces for uniform cooking.
  6. Cooking order: Start by cooking the harder vegetables like carrots and beans first, followed by softer vegetables like peas and bell peppers. This ensures that all the vegetables are cooked to perfection.
  7. Spice mix: Prepare a spice mix with ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala to add a depth of flavor to the pulao. You can also add a pinch of saffron soaked in warm milk for vibrant color and aroma.
  8. Water to rice ratio: For a fluffy pulao, use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. Adjust the amount of water depending on the rice variety and cooking method.
  9. Cooking technique: Once you add the soaked and drained rice to the pan, gently stir it with the vegetables and spices, taking care not to break the rice grains. Then, add the measured water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and let it cook undisturbed until the rice is tender and cooked through.
  10. Resting time: After the pulao is cooked, allow it to rest for about 5-10 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. This resting time allows the flavors to meld together and the rice to settle.
  11. Garnishing: Finally, garnish the veg pulao with freshly chopped coriander leaves, fried onions, or roasted cashews for added flavor and a delightful presentation.

Remember, these are general tips, and you can always customize the pulao by adding your favorite spices and vegetables. Enjoy cooking and savoring your flavorful veg pulao!

 

Pulao Variations           

Many variations can be used made in a pulao recipe. From adding different vegetables to using a vegetable stock or spicing with unique spices. See the points mentioned below.

         Vegetables

            Various types of vegetables can be added to a pulao, either alone or in a combination of two or three, or more, depending on what you and your family like and prefer. Usually, a vegetable pulav is made with veggies like green peas, cauliflower, french beans, carrots, and corn or potatoes.

            Apart from these vegetables, you can also add broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, capsicum( bell pepper), cabbage, beetroot( beets), and tomatoes. The flavors and taste of pulao will vary with the type of vegetables added to it.

   Masala and Spice Pastes

In vegetable pulao, you can use various masala and spice pastes to enhance the flavor and aroma. Here are a few commonly used pastes:

  1. Ginger-Garlic Paste: This paste is made by blending equal parts of fresh ginger and garlic. It adds a robust flavor to the pulao. You can make it at home by grinding peeled ginger and garlic cloves together with a little water.
  2. Green Chilli Paste: Green chili paste adds a spicy kick to the pulao. It can be made by blending fresh green chilies with a small amount of water. Adjust the number of green chilies according to your spice preference.
  3. Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the pulao. It can be made by pureeing ripe tomatoes in a blender. Cooking the tomato paste for a few minutes in oil before adding other ingredients enhances its taste.
  4. Onion Paste: Onion paste adds a rich and slightly sweet flavor to the pulao. It can be made by grinding onions with a little water until smooth. Cooking the onion paste until it turns golden brown adds depth to the pulao’s taste.
  5. Cashew Nut Paste: Cashew nut paste adds a creamy and nutty flavor to the pulao. Soak cashew nuts in warm water for 15-20 minutes, then blend them into a smooth paste. You can also roast the cashews before grinding them for a slightly toasted flavor.
  6. Coconut Paste: Coconut paste adds a subtle sweetness and a creamy texture to the pulao. Blend freshly grated coconut with a little water until smooth. Straining the paste through a fine mesh sieve removes any coarse particles and ensures a smooth consistency.

These pastes can be added at different stages of cooking, depending on the recipe you’re following. They are typically added after sautéing the whole spices and before adding vegetables and rice. Adjust the quantity of these pastes based on your taste preferences and the level of spiciness you desire.

  Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign up for my emails or Follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.     

Vegetable Pulao Recipe Card

North Indian Kitchen
Vegetable Pulao full of various vegetables. A small pack filled with full nutrition.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 429 kcal

Equipments

1 Pan
1 Kadai

Ingredients

  • 600 gms Basmati Rice (2.5 cups)
  • Water as required for soaking vegetables
  • ½-¾ cup Potatoes (chopped)
  • ¼ cup Carrots (chopped)
  • ¼ cup American Corn (fresh/frozen)
  • ¼ cup Green Beans (chopped)
  • ¼ cup Capsicum (chopped)
  • ¼ cup Paneer (sliced)

Other Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon Ghee/Oil
  • 1 cup Onion (sliced)
  • ½ cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1-1.5 inch Ginger (crushed to a paste in a mortar)
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic (small to medium sized)
  • 1-2 nos Green Chilis or (1 teaspoon chopped Green Chili Pepper)
  • 3 tablespoon Mint leaves (chopped, (optional))
  • ¼ teaspoon Lemon juice (optional)
  • 3.5-4 cups Water
  • 1 cup Curd
  • Salt as required

Whole Spices

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds/1teaspoon Caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
  • 5-6 Whole Black Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tej Patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 4 Cloves
  • 3-4 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Black Cardamom (optional)
  • 1 Mace (small piece (optional))
  • 1 Star anise (small sizes(optional))
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 1 Stone Flower(small piece(optional))

For Nuts

  • 10-12 pcs Almonds
  • 10-12 pcs Raisins
  • 10-12 pcs Cashews

For Garnish

  • 1-2 tablespoon Coriander/Mint leaves (chopped)

Instructions
 

  • Preparation
    1. Begin by rinsing 1.5 cups basmati rice in water until it runs clear of starch. Next, soak the rice in enough water for 20-30 mons.
    2. After 20 to 30 mins strain the rice of all the wateer and keep aside.
    3. While the rice is soaking, prep the veggies. Rinse and chop them. Make sure       to chop the vegetables in small cubes.
    4. Peel, rinse and slice 1 large onion thinly. You will need about 2.5 to 3 cups of chopped vegetables excluding corn, tomatoes and onions.
    Cook Pulao 
    5. Check a few times during cooking to ensure there in enough water. Depending on the quality of rice, you may need to add more water. With a fork, you can also gently stir the rice without breaking the rice grains.
    6. Keep all the whole spices aside. From the below list of spices, you can skip black pepper corns,  black cardamom, star anise and mace.
    7. Add roughly chopped ginger (1 to 1.5 inches), garlic (4 to 5 small to medium garlic cloves ,peeled) and 1 to 2 green chillies ( green peppers) in a mortar pestle.
    8. Crush to a paste . You can also use a small grinder for crushing these. Add a bit of water if required while grinding in a small grinder or mixer. Heat 3 tablespoons ghee or oil in a deep thick bottomed pot or pan.
    9. Once the ghee has melted and become hot, add all whole spices listed below.
    10. Add 1 cup of thinly sliced onions.
    11. Mix the onions with the ghee and begin and ghee to saute them.
    12. Saute the onions or a low to medium- low- heat. First, the onions will become light golden. Stirring often continue to saute.
    13. Saute onions until golden. Once the onions become golden add the crushed ginger + garlic + green chili ( Chili pepper) paste.
    14. Stir and saute for some seconds until the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away. Add 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes.
    15. Mix and saute for 2-3 mins on a low heat. Now add all the chopped veggies you can add about 2.5 to 3 cups of mixed chopped vegetables. Also add 1/2 cup of american corn ( frozen).
    16. Mix and saute again for 2 to 3 mins on a low heat Add 1 cup curd. Mix it well.
    17. Pour 3.5 to 4 cups water into the pan. I added 3.5 cups of water. Depending on the quality of rice you have used, you can add less or more water. You can opt to replace water with vegetable stock .
    18. Season with salt. Mix very well. To figure out if you have added the right amount of salt, check the taste of the water. You should feel some saltiness in the water.
    19. Add the soaked rice. Mix rice gently with the rest of the ingredients.
    20. Saute rice gently for 1 to 2 mins on a low medium -low-heat, so that the rice grains get evently coated with the oil and ghee.
    21. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves( cilantro). At this step you can also add 2 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves.
    22. Mix and saute again for 2 to 3 mins on a low heat. Stir and tightly cover the pot or pan with its lid.
    23. Cover and cook the rice until all the water the absorbed .Cook on a low to medium heat. Usually , in the beginning, I cook on a medium - low or medium heat and then halfway through, I lower the heat.
    24. Put 1tsp ghee. Add 10-12 almonds ,10-12 raisins, 10-12 cashew , 200 gms cheese and green sprinkles. You should take fresh green sprinkles as it will give great taste and good texture.
    25. Once the rice grains are cooked, fluff them and let the rice stand for 5 mins covered with the lid.
    26. Serve Veg Pulao garnished with coriander leaves(cilantro), mint leaves or fried onions and fried cashew, fried almond, fried raisins or fried cheese. 

Video

Notes

  • Use basmati rice as it's size and quality is good for making pulao.
  • Use fresh vegetables and you can add any of them as your convenience. 
  • You can add walnuts or remove any dry fruit.
 
Nutrition Facts
Vegetable Pulao Recipe Card
Amount per Serving
Calories
429
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
25
mg
8
%
Sodium
 
68
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
501
mg
14
%
Carbohydrates
 
75
g
25
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Protein
 
9
g
18
%
Vitamin A
 
1839
IU
37
%
Vitamin B1
 
1
mg
67
%
Vitamin B2
 
1
mg
59
%
Vitamin B3
 
2
mg
10
%
Vitamin B6
 
1
mg
50
%
Vitamin C
 
32
mg
39
%
Vitamin E
 
1
mg
7
%
Vitamin K
 
11
µg
10
%
Calcium
 
74
mg
7
%
Vitamin B9 (Folate)
 
46
µg
12
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
Magnesium
 
51
mg
13
%
Phosphorus
 
149
mg
15
%
Zinc
 
1
mg
7
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Veg Pulao
Tried this recipe?Tag@northindiankitchenn on Instagram

                                                            

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Excellent rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 297

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?


Share This Recipe

Similar Posts

8 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate Us